Sunday, February 28, 2016

WeWriWa: A Question of Motivation


Giving characters a plausible, relatable and compelling reason for what they do takes them from words on a page to sympathetic people we connect with. How to turn a hateful, selfish woman into someone readers want to champion? A daunting task. One I’ve been chipping away at for nearly 40,000 words by exploring what motivates the female protagonist in my paranormal W-I-P PRINCE OF HONOR. Hopefully, I’m getting closer with this internal moment:
Why would he do something like that, something so reckless, so dangerous, so . . . wonderful? 

No one had ever championed her before, even her mother’s actions from self-interest, not to protect her daughter. She’d spent her entire life bracing against attacks, so used to fighting her own battles the thought of someone else taking her part mystified, confused and alarmed her. 

Why? What reason did a prince in the selfishly arrogant House of Terriot have for flaunting the power of his king at the risk of his own life? 

Who was this strange, quixotic prince who bound her to him for reasons she didn’t understand? She was no bargain, no tender, loving mate—if anything, she was blight upon his chances to rise within their House. Was he fool? Didn’t he realize there was nothing to gain from weighting himself down with a pariah who only lay beside him because she had no other choice? 

What the hell was wrong with him and what did he want from her?
Self-doubt and curiosity seems to be opening Sylvia up to possibilities, and if I’m doing it right, will nudge the reader into her corner.

What hateful characters managed to win you over despite their best intentions to behave badly? Scarlet O’Hara, anyone?

Weekend Writing Warriors is a weekly hop for everyone who loves to write! Share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday. Visit other participants on the list and read, critique, and comment on their 8sunday posts.

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Happy Writing and Happy Early Spring (which can’t come too soon!)

20 comments:

  1. Yes, this glimpse of the pain of her past definitely made me feel for her! I have a similar struggle with my antagonist. Even though she's evil, I'd like for readers to at least understand her.

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    1. I agree! Empathy makes for a well-rounded villain!

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  2. It reads great to me! If you can show *some* kind of internal struggle, it's easier to readers to sympathize, I think. This is a wonderful start.

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    1. Thanks, Marcia. Internal struggle is the stuff of H/Hs!

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  3. Ah, the characters everyone loves to hate...always the best. After all, tomorrow is another day! Great post. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thanks, Dr. E! You know how I like to redeem those dark characters!

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  4. She's certainly tying herself up in knots trying to figure this out and examining all the angles. Great snippet!

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    1. Ah, that web we weave . . . Thanks, Veronica/Jean!

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  5. From this snippet, it sounds like she's nasty out of insecurity.

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    1. Hmmm. You must have heard that from Dr. Effing!

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  6. Wonderfully done. Yes, her inner thoughts, as she struggles to make sense of everything, made me empathize with her.

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  7. This soul-baring scene has started to melt me. I might root for her. Excellent job, Nancy!

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    1. She needs all the friends she can get! Thanks, Teresa!

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  8. Hope his reasons are good ones, because if he's running some kind of long con, she'll never recover.

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  9. I love the confusion she brings him, though Caitlin brings up a very interesting point. Can't wait to read more!

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  10. I love how she's trying to come up with a motive for his actions. I like her :) I can't wait to see what else she struggles with.
    Sorry I'm late commenting. I had to work over the weekend.

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    1. Thanks, Bonnie! Great to hear from you any time!

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